Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Tandy Corporation is the former name of the parent company of RadioShack Corporation, a Fort Worth, Texas-based company best known for its RadioShack electronics stores. Tandy was founded in 1919 as a leather supply store. Tandy bought RadioShack in 1963. The Tandy name was dropped in May of 2000 when RadioShack Corporation was made the official name.
Tandy began in 1919 when two friends, Norton Hinckley and Dave L. Tandy, decided to start the Hinckley-Tandy Leather Company, which sold leather shoe parts to shoe repair shops in the Fort Worth area. Tandy's son, Charles D. Tandy, turned it into a leathercraft company when shoe rationing in World War II almost killed the business, and later expanded into selling leather and tools to make such products as wallets. After a struggle over the company, which saw the Hinckley name dropped, Tandy made another change in 1963, when it bought the ailing RadioShack (it later sold off all non-electronic business).
RadioShack was one of the companies (along with Commodore International and Apple) that started the personal computer revolution, with their TRS-80 (1977) and TRS-80 Color Computer ("CoCo") (1980) line of home computers. Later Tandy adopted the IBM PC architecture. Tandy's IBM PC compatibles, the Tandy 2000 and Tandy 1000, were cheaper than the IBM PC and yet featured built-in, and better, sound and graphics. It was only when VGA-standard graphics cards and Sound Blaster sound cards became common in the early 1990s that the Tandys' advanced features became noncompetitive and thus obsolete.
From the 1970s Tandy operated a chain of RadioShack-style stores in Britain and Australia, under the Tandy name. In 1999 the UK stores were sold to Carphone Warehouse, and over the following years have either been closed, or turned into Carphone Warehouse stores. In 2001 the Australian stores were sold to Dick Smith Electronics, a subsidiary of Woolworths Limited. A number of these stores have been closed down or rebadged as DSE stores, but around 200 still carry the Tandy name.
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